Re: USPS shipments comments


stevenhorii
 

I once picked up a Project Mercury horizon scanner from a surplus dealer in
Los Angeles. I was headed home and already had a lot of stuff that I was
taking back as baggage, so I decided to ship it. I put my address on the
instrument, packed it using the star-shaped cutout foam that the US
Military uses for shipping aircraft instruments, and put an address label
on that box. Then the box went into a larger box that allowed for
two-inches (about 5 cm) of foam around all sides. It was a new box, no old
labels or printing on it. Address label on it, covered the label with clear
tape, and took it to the local UPS. I had used them before and they had a
sign that said “Pack for a four-foot drop onto concrete”. My package would
meet that spec.

When they weighed it, they told me “There will be a surcharge for this
package. It is too large for the weight”. I pointed to their sign and said
that I packed it to meet that suggestion. They would not relent so it was
an extra $10 (this was back in the ‘90s). I can understand why they do this
- packages like this take up more space in their trucks or air freight
containers so it winds up being less economical for them. Still to get
charged extra to meet their suggested packing was irritating.

If you don’t know already, FedEx Ground in the US is different from FedEx
Express. The Ground service uses independent contractors, though the US
Labor folks decided that they are employees so FedEx had to adjust their
policies for that. Still, it means for far more variability among the
drivers. I have had packages that arrived very clean and with little
evidence that they had been shipped at all. Others arrived like they had
been dropped onto concrete - from far more than four feet - and then
drop-kicked into and out of the truck. The reason for putting address
labels on everything is that a friend of mine shipped a fairly large camera
and the person who bought it got an empty box with one side torn open. UPS
denied the claim since it was “inadequately packed”. Then they said there
was no way they could get it to the destination even if they could find it
because there was no label on the camera. It would eventually wind up for
sale in an “unclaimed freight” auction. My friend had to refund the cost to
the buyer so he lost out twice - what he paid for the camera and then
refunding the purchase price to the buyer. Well, and the shipping cost as
well. Oh, and he had the camera packed by a company that packs and ships
stuff, he did not do it himself. He also lost out on the packing cost. The
packer/shipper said he always packs to UPS standards so he would not refund
the packing cost.

Back to the USPS thread. I have a jeweler in Chicago that does custom work.
I have her design something when I need a gift for my wife. We talked about
shipping. She almost exclusively uses USPS. Why? It is a theft deterrent.
If a package is stolen from UPS or FedEx, depending on the value, it’s a
crime but subject to civil law. If a package is stolen from the USPS, it is
a Federal crime (well, depending to some extent on the value - but we’re
talking jewelry here) so a thief might think twice before stealing a USPS
package. She said that most of her jeweler friends do the same thing. They
will all use FedEx Express if requested and they insure the packages and
require a signature on delivery. But this is also for jewelry - generally
small and light, not a 50-pound Tek scope.

On Wed, Oct 20, 2021 at 02:32 John Parkins G8KVP <john@g8kvp.com> wrote:

Hello All,

Just a word of warning......... from the UK.

I run the parts department of an agricultural dealer, as you can imagine
some of the parts that are delivered to us are large, heavy and you would
think unbreakable. Don't you believe it, in the past year we have had more
damaged, broken, delayed parts than ever before and not to mention the
parts that just don't turn up at all. On top of that because of our
wonderful, self inflicted, Brexit we have had no end of problems with
customs. At the moment we are trying to send an engine (£25,000 worth) back
to Germany, so far it's made 5 trips and been returned each time. We're not
told why it comes back...........

Costs have gone through the roof, a regular customer had a near monthly
order. It used to cost £30 to get it there, it now costs £180! 6 times as
much.

So the moral is, pack extremely well, then do it better. Photograph
everything so you have a record of not only what you've sent but how you've
packed it. Do the paperwork and then get someone else to check the
paperwork. Give it to the courier and wave goodbye.........

Some couriers are better than others, but they have all let us down at
some point.


--
Best regards,
John mailto:john@g8kvp.com






Join TekScopes@groups.io to automatically receive all group messages.